MiraCosta College Celebrates 80 Years of Educational Excellence

When MiraCosta College was established in 1934, a box of corn flakes cost just eight cents. But it was the Depression and people were struggling to come up with those eight cents. They were looking for jobs, but jobs were hard to find, and even harder to find without a higher education. In North San Diego County in 1934, local community leaders were also looking for opportunities, and they decided the area needed a local source for higher education – one that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. It was then that Oceanside-Carlsbad Junior College was born.

Its beginning was humble – “O-CJC” enrolled only 120 students and had just 20 faculty members. But what started out as a stepping stone to a university quickly morphed into something more as the decades ticked by. It became a vocational training facility for women so they could enter the workforce while the men were at war, prepared students to transfer to four-year institutions, provided some with a high school diploma, and taught others basic English skills. The only constant at the college was change.


In 1976, the college’s district expanded to the south, incorporating the San Dieguito area and inland to include Rancho Santa Fe. To accommodate the needs of prospective students in this area, the college built a beautiful new campus in 1989. Dubbed the “San Elijo Campus”, the campus lies adjacent to the San Elijo Lagoon in Cardiff.

“I’m just very proud to have MiraCosta in our city. The City of Encinitas and the residents here are very fortunate,” said Encinitas City Councilwoman Teresa Barth. “It is such a fundamental part of our community and its continuing education.”

MiraCosta College has achieved 80 years of service to its community by changing and adapting to the needs of its citizens. Throughout the decades and through all the growth and change, one thing remains the same: MiraCosta College is still shaping minds for success and is relentless in its mission to transform lives through education.

MiraCosta College Today

• Enrolls nearly 15,000 credit and 5,000 noncredit students.
• Offers approximately 1,600 courses in 70 disciplines.
• Has more than 300 online courses.
• Offers specialized assistance to underrepresented populations and the military.
• MiraCosta College opened a brand new science building at the San Elijo Campus in Cardiff this fall semester.
• The college has dramatically expanded its course offerings on Fridays and Saturdays through the Friday Core+ Program, a welcome relief for students who have been squeezed out of classes because of high demand or work schedules.


Name of School: MiraCosta College
Year of Establishment: 1934
Address: 3333 Manchester Ave., Cardiff, CA 92007
Website: www.miracosta.edu
Email: pio@miracosta.edu
Phone: 760-757-2121
Mission of College: The MiraCosta Community College District mission is to provide educational opportunities and student-support services to a diverse population of learners with a focus on their success.